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Anderson Cooper 360

News/Business. (2011) (CC)

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Jerry Sandusky 13, Us 11, Sandusky 11, Gingrich 8, Newt Gingrich 6, Melanie 4, Steve Croft 4, Brian Terry 4, Romney 4, Obama 3, Florida 3, Cialis 3, Barack Obama 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Ari Fleischer 3, Joe Amendola 3, Washington 2, America 2, Citi 2, Georgia 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360    News/Business.  (2011)  (CC)  

    December 13, 2011
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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tomorrow night,theman who not only had a front row seat to history but also wrote the book about it. tom brea t tom breaux co. who american needs to know tomorrow. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. thanks. 10:00 on the east coast. we begin tonight keeping them honest. a sequel to a report of things your representatives would do that would land you in jail if you tried them yourself. legal legislative graft. if you don't know about this, you have to listen because it is stunning. right now what the law allows members of congress to do. tonight, a bill to make congress members obey the same rules that you and i do when it comes to making money on inside information. that bill has been put back on the shelf. till tonight it appeared as if the legislation was on a fast
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track to passage, a fast track that seemed to have been created a few weeks ago after steve croft on "60 minutes" revealed that congress members were legally allowed to use inside information, information they learned through briefings or reports to make money, something regular people like us would be arrested for. >> why does congress get a pass on this? >> it's really the way the rules have been defined and the people who make the rules are the political class in washington and they've conveniently written them in such a way that they don't apply to themselves. >> the buying and selling of stock by corporate insiders who have access to nonpublic information that can affect the stock price can be a criminal offense. just ask raj rajaratnam, who got 11 years for doing it. but congressional lawmakers have no corporate responsibilities and have long been considered exempt from insider trading laws even though they have daily access to nonpublic information and plenty of opportunities to trade on it. >> we know that during the health care debate, people were
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trading healthcare stocks, we know that during the financial crisis of 2008, they were getting out of the market before the rest of america really knew what was going on. >> that's steve croft on "60 minutes." but what was going on? he reports that gop congressmen like spencer baucus of alabama and fellow members of the house financial services committee why were getting dire top secret briefings on the crisis from the treasury secretary hank paulson. at the same time, according to "60 minutes," congressman bachus started making stock bets that the market would go down. his office says he never trades on nonpublic information, but the timing is certainly suspicious. bachus, his reported take on trades was around $50,000. it is a bipartisan story. they're doing it on both sides. take democrat nancy pelosi, the former house speaker. in 2008 she took part in visa, the credit card company's invitation-only initial stock offering, buying 5,000 shares
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just as the legislation that would have hurt credit card companies like visa began to trip through the house. legislation that failed that time. it was ultimately passed through the senate. steve croft asked her about that. >> i wanted to ask you why you and your husband, back in march of 2008, accepted and participated in a very large ipo deal from visa at a time there was major legislation affecting their credit card companies making its way through the house? and would you consider that to be a conflict of interest? >> i don't know what you're point is of your question. is there some point that you want to make with that? >> i guess what i'm asking is, do you think it's all right for a speaker to accept a very preferential favorable stock deal? >> well, we didn't. >> you participated in the ipo. and at the time you were speaker of the house. you don't think it was a conflict of interest or has the
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appearance of a conflict of interest? >> it only has the appearance if you decide that you're going to elaborate on a false premise. but it's not true, and that's that. >> i don't understand what part's not true. >> yes. that i would act upon an investment. >> house minority leader nancy pelosi talking to "60 minutes'" steve croft. she denies wrongdoing. his report got action. suddenly a bill to curb insider trading called the stock act which had been going nowhere for years gained new traction with 200 sponsors. we wanted to get every single lawmaker on record when it comes to the stock ability. so we called every single lawmaker now in office in the house and the senate. >> we're calling from cnn, "anderson cooper 360." i'm hoping to speak with someone about representative brooks' position on the stock act. >> we called 100 senators, 434 house members. majority told us they'd get back to us. they haven't followed through on that. we haven't heard from them.
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we did get 201 to go on the record, 16 makes, one single no. so the bill is cloorly gaining supporters, so it seems. but now congressman bachus who happens to chair the house financial services committee is postponing action on it reportedly on orders from eric cantor. >> there were issues raised again by members on both sides of the aisle about this bill not being brought up in a vetted way. there are many other chairmen who have jurisdiction in this matter who need to be involved in this with the full vetting, and we intend to do that. >> congressman bachus issued a statement saying almost the same thing. but keeping them honest, as recent as last tuesday he seemed eager to move the stock act forward. he scheduled a markup on the bill for this week which is the last step before voting on it. then on wednesday, cantor smacked him down and bachus postponed it indefinitely. cantor saying that a large group of bipartisan members believe the legislation is flawed and being recklessly moved solely in
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response to media pressure. the co-sponsor and longtime reform advocate louis slaughter isn't buying it, saying, quote, oh for goodness sake, last week we passed a bill worth hundreds of billion of dollars with less than a two-day layover and no one knew what was in it. she goes on to say, this bill has been around for six years. chairman bachus' fellow republicans, they're miffed as well. according to politico, they say bachus was putting them on the line to repair the damage from that "60 minutes" report. one of them telling politico, quote, we're not going to cover spencer's ass by passing a half-baked bill. joining us is retired congressman brian baird who tried to pass a similar ethics bill years ago without much luck, and melanie sloan, citizens for ethics and responsibility in washington. she testified before congress in support of the stock act. congressman, you helped to introduce the stock back in 2006. it died over and over again in committee.
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virtually no one even show upped for some of your hearings. do you think it just died again? >> well, it seems like eric cantor would like to see it die. i just don't buy his explanation. bills are often referred to multiple committees. you just waive that. the chairmans of the other committee say, no let financial services handle it, that's in their bailiwick. if he's serious about passing this, why doesn't he set a date? he should say that by the end of march we'll bring this bill or some form of it up for a vote and get it done. it is not that complicated. ask people to do in congress that we ask the rest of the country to do. he seems unwilling to make that happen. >> melanie, to you, does it seem like it's dead, at least for now? >> i don't think it just died, i i think eric cantor killed it. his calls for bipartisanship, that's a new one for eric cantor who hasn't cared about bipartisanship since his party took back control of congress. it seems to me that eric cantor is doing the bidding of boehner and wall street here and a bunch of chairmen of committees who don't want to see themselves tarred with the problem of being held
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responsible for insider trading laws like everyone else in america. >> when you were in congress and used to raise this issue, what kind of a response did you get off camera from people? because essentially i think a lot of americans are stunned to learn that a member of congress could receive some information in a briefing, an off the record briefing or behind the closed doors briefing, and then use that information and buy stocks with that. i think it just defies explanation. >> it does defy explanation. the most troubling response was people who either, a, did not understand the concept of why insider trading by members of congress would be a problem. that showed an astonishing lack of self-awareness. but beyond that, a number of people just said, oh, that would be inconvenient. i don't want to have to report my stock trades the way other people do. this could possibly lead to investigations that would be unwarranted. that's deeply troubling. if people in the congressional -- in congress say that in some ways they're morally superior and they would never abuse something or that
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the laws should not apply to them, well, we've got a serious problem on our hands. the fix was ready to go. we had a solution. it's been through three hearings, one in the senate, two in the house, it may not be perfect. okay. amend it, bring it up for a vote. see where people stand. we'll see what the public thinks about that. >> melanie, they were serious about wanting to improve this bill, they could just say, well, we're setting a new date for the markup and the vote instead of putting it off indefinitely. >> that's exactly right. that's what happened in the senate where chairman lieberman and ranking member susan colins have come up with a new bill, it's not exactly the same as the house bill but it's a new bill improved based on the hearing. it is still not a perfect bill but better than it was. they could move forward with that bill in the house, then pass the bill they have and work it out in conference. there were lots of options other than putting this off indefinitely. this was the way of postponing it without saying we're killing it, but really killing it. >> congressman, when people like
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nancy pelosi or bachus and boehner deny not acting on inside stock trading information? do you think they're not telling the truth or they're misinformed? what do you make of it? >> at the minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest there. when someone like congressman bachus gets information and trades options the next day it defies common sense to believe that he segregates the knowledge he gets in one committee hearing or a meeting with the secretary of the treasury, he complete liz segregates that from his stock trades and then has the audacity of saying i'm just a better stock trader than other people, that's why i make all this money. that defies common sense. the average guy says, i don't get briefings from the secretary of treasury, i don't get classified information and if i did, by the way, i'd probably go to jail. these folks don't. >> melanie, just how is this legal? i don't understand. insider trading is illegal. >> insider trading is illegal, but it's not completely clear that the law applies to congress as it's written. that's why this bill wul haould
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made it completely clear. the s.e.c. said no, we could prosecute this if we wanted to, yet they never have. and the s.e.c. isn't the most courageous agency,in the first place, so it's clear that they need this legislation to make it crystal clear that congress can't trade on inside information. but let me say, this isn't the only time where congress has exempted itself to laws that apply to everyone else. the same goes for whistleblower protections, workplace safety laws, something that we often see with congress. why should they have to follow the same rules as anyone else, it's part of the reason why americans just don't trust them. it's stunning. melanie, brian, thanks very much. let us know what you think. facebook, google plus, follow me on twitter. let me know what you think about this. @anderson. that's my twitter handle. i'll be tweeting tonight. the two top contenders promising to stay positive. are they keeping their vows. we're keeping them honest. which one does better against obama in the polls right now? ari fleischer, cornell belcher join us. later a courtroom surprise
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from jerry sandusky's attorney. the move that seemed to come out of nowhere and what his client is saying about the sex abuse charges against him. our legal panel is joining us. as well as attorneys for two of sandusky's accusers. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates. for others, it's somethingelong fdiscovered yesterday.ine, we all have things that speak to us.
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negative, not to attack their opponents. a few weeks later they go negative and attack their opponents four years ago it was clinton and obama launching rockets at each other. from a commandment almost on high -- >> when the chips are down and and the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails and everybody goes to work. and that is thou shalt not speak ill of another republican. >> not even ronald reagan lived up to it all the time. neither is newt gingrich who considers reagan a personal and political hero as many republicans. he is promising to try. take a look at this message to supporters from gingrich. quote, since i announced my candidacy for president of the united states i've made it clear that i intend to run a positive solutions-based campaign. he goes on to say, the american people deserve a respectful and constructive campaign that focuses on a vision for rebuilding the country we love. all right. the question is,has he been
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living up to that pledge? take a look and decide for yourself. >> let's be candid. the only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to teddy kennedy in 1994. >> newt gingrich this weekend. mitt romney says it's important not to weaken anybody anyone that might defeat president obama next november. how does he explain this attack on speaker gingrich and how does gingrich explain the counterattack? >> if he was working as a spokesman for fannie mae -- excuse me for freddie mac, if he was there because of his political connections, and then if freddie mac fails, i think a fair question is asked, why did he profit as freddie mac failed? >> i would just say that, if governor romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years of bayne, then i would be glad to listen to him. >> there you have gingrich calling romney a jobs killer, romney calling gingrich a political hack. how did they explain it? remember that message from gingrich to his supporters.
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he left himself an out. quote, i have refrained from launching attacks on my republican opponents, though i reserved the right to respond when my record has been distorted. joining me ari fleischer, press secretary during the george w. bush administration. follow him on twitte twitter @arifleischer. also with us democratic strategist and obama 2012 pollster, cornell belcher. you look at these polls. do the voting public care about whether or not a candidate goes negative? >> well, this is one of the conflicts among voters, the contradictions. all the voters talk about how they hate negative ads and they hate nextish campaigning and how it turns them off. truth of the matter is we know very well it moves voters. if you have a valid and authentic attack line or strong contrast with your opponent and you put money behind that in television advertising and you keep pushing that message, eventually it does burn in and it does make an impact. what you have to do is you have to pause those voters
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from moving to your opponent. mitt romney has to attack newt gingrich because he has to get in the way of those voters of the republican core electorate out there, he has to get in the way of them coalescing around gingrich. if they coalesce around him, the race is over. >> ari, it does seem that gingrich has been able to stay above the fray or stay out of the fray really until this weekend. previously in other debates he wasn't a top tier candidate. he is now. can he continue to say, well, look, i'm not going to go negative? i'm not going to be negative? >> no, i think that's, number one, not newt's nature. newt under pressure of course is going to go negative. he always has. people will be overly sensitive about this. it's a campaign and they're running against each other. the campaign is based on what can you do for the country and what's the difference between you and the other guy who wants to do something for the country. so long as it's kept civil and kept focuses essentially on the issues, which it largely has been on the republican side, this is the very stuff of campaigns and it's what people
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should make up their mind about, whether the differences they're arguing about, one person supported a mandate, whether somebody is for illegal immigration. these are the differences that need to be aired, that should be aired. >> is there a danger? i agree with ari on this one. look, we've all been to the rodeo before. there are differences between people. and that's where a lot of this comes from. but is there a danger in saying you're not going to be negative and then being negative or does it just not really matter? >> well, look, eem a proud political hack, by the way. i do this for a living. if you're the front-runner, this classic front-runner card to pull out, i'm going to stay negative, we shouldn't level any attacks -- >> you mean i'm going to stay positive. >> right. you can do that because other people have to catch up with you. and they can't catch up with you unless they take you down. look, we hear this every campaign season. every campaign season people make hard contrasts. i'm sorry, but negative campaigning works. it does.
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>> there's a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll that i want to take a look at numbers on. newt gingrich has a commanding lead, 40% compared to romney's 23%. look what happens when you put him up against president obama. he trails by 11 points. mitt romney trails obama by two points. ari, what do you make of the numbers? >> well that's one of newt's biggest obstacles. if newt's going to become the nominee, he has to show a steady stream of polls. he's had a mixed stream of polls that show how he's going to do against barack obama. if republicans become convinced that a vote for newt is a vote for obama, it could kill him as this campaign goes along. but newt's had some good polls. a gallup poll that shows in the battleground states both newt and romney are beating barack obama in the 12 battleground states that barack obama won last year -- or four years ago. but newt needs to get that across the board. the numbers like the nbc/"wall street journal" poll that you just cited are very problematic for newt. he's got to change that story. >> cornell, james carville was
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on the program last night. he said he thinks the next week or two for newt gingrich, those numbers are going to come down because there's going to be a steady drumbeat against him from the other candidates. you agree with that? >> two things. those national polls at this point mean nothing. because the general election haven't begun to unfold. you know there was a number of polls out, the pundits said that hillary clinton would be a better candidate in the general election than barack obama. that's not how primary voters think, caucusgoers think. they think that the candidate noeft line with them, who they agree with, shares their values, that's the condition that will be the best candidate in the general election. because if not, what you're really saying is there's something wrong with my values and the way i think if my candidate is in fact not the best candidate. other part about this is absolutely they will begin to pull back because you know what? now that the sights are trained on newt. again, we don't like negative campaigning, but once you start
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attacking someone and bringing up credible line of attack, voters pause. and if you're mitt romney, you have to get those voters to pause in consideration of rallying around newt gingrich. >> interesting. ari fleischer, thanks, cornell belcher as well. "crime and punishment." former penn state football coach jerry sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing this morning. that means we did not hear from his alleged victims of sexual molestation. but two of his accusers' attorneys are speaking out. we'll talk to them ahead. later, pressure piling up on attorney general eric holder over the failed gun running operation fast and furious. some democrats say it's a manufactured scandal. we talked to one democrat and see what is he talking them. we're keeping them honest, ahead. [ male announcer ] does your prescription medication give you the burden of constipation?
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in "crime and punishment" tonight, a surprise move in the case of former penn state coach jerry sandusky. prosecutors were ready to put witnesses on the stand today. we talked about it a lot last night including the young men who say that sandusky sexually abused them when they were children, but they didn't get a chance to testify. sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing. he also waived an arraignment scheduled for january and entered a not guilty plea, and requested a trial. more about what that means in a moment. first here's what sandusky said today outside the courthouse. >> to stay the course, to fight for four quarters. we await the opportunity to present our side. >> and we couldn't do that today. >> sandusky's attorney joe amendola went on to say that he and his client decided last night to waive the hearing because the defense wouldn't have enough time to question prosecution witnesses. he said sandusky maintains his innocence. >> we're ready to defend, we've always been ready to defend. today's waiver has nothing to do with conceding anything.
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there are no plea negotiations. there will be no plea negotiations. this is a fight to the death. this is the fight of jerry sandusky's life. this goes beyond the penn state/miami game in '86. this is the game of his life. >> joining me live is attorney michael boni for alleged victim number one, howard janet, attorney for victim number six. appreciate you being with us. michael, you were in court today when sandusky decided to waive his preliminary hearing. how did your client, alleged victim number one, react? >> anderson, he reacted with an interesting mixture of emotions. obviously a great sense of relief. victim one, my client, is young. he just turned 18 years old. as you can imagine, he felt a tremendous sense of relief. at the same time, he was angry. he was thoroughly prepared. got himself mentally prepared. i had dinner with him last night.
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and he was ready. he's an incredibly sincere and earnest young man and was looking forward to this day when he would have the opportunity to assist the prosecution, so he was angry he didn't have that opportunity. >> howard, how about your client, who the grand jury called victim number six? >> let me tell you something about my client, this young man is a devout young man. when he read the grand jury presentment, he cried, not for himself but for the other boys. at that point in time, he made the decision that he was going to stand up and come forward again, as he had done in 1998 as an 11-year-old, and stand up for his rights and especially for these other children. as a result of that, what he did was he summoned the courage. he dug down deep and he summoned the courage to face his accuser, to face him in open court, to
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face him under oath, to face him while the world watched. he was ready, but jerry sandusky ran away. sandusky didn't have the courage to face his accusers. he didn't have the courage to listen to what this young man and the other young men were going to say. he didn't have the courage to let the world hear it. >> i want to play for you some sound from a cnn interview jerry sandusky's attorney, joe amendola, gave today. take a look. >> several of these young men know each other, have known each other prior to charges being filed. we're looking into the possibility that there may be a financial motivation involved, that there might have been some collusion, some interaction among these young people prior to charges being filed. we also know that in a number of the charges there really isn't an allegation of sexual contact as much as there is maybe inappropriate touching. >> michael, is there any truth to amendola's claims that money is a motivating factor here for your client? >> there is no truth whatsoever.
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that is an extremely offensive remark. he has no evidence. it is categorically false. my client does not know any of the other victims, has never spoken with any of the other victims. and it is patently absurd for mr. amendola to level these charges without an iota of evidence. he can say whatever he wants now and reach deep into his bag of tricks, but i can assure you that the furthest thing from my client's mind is money. what he wants to see is justice brought against jerry sandusky. >> howard, briefly, does your client, alleged victim number six, know any of the other alleged victims or want money? >> he does know, yes, some of the young victims. some of them were second mile children just as he was. that was his feeding ground, if you will. but i don't believe for a
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scintilla of a second that any of these children are motivated -- now young adults -- are motivated by money. while i don't believe it of them, i know it as to victim number six. this young man was abused by jerry sandusky. it's evidence from the grand jury report back in 1998. 13 years ago. neither he nor his mother did anything other than report this to the police to try and seek the kind of justice that was required. he didn't file a lawsuit, she didn't file a lawsuit. never looked for a penny, never asked for a penny. and didn't come forward now. he thought his matter was dead. the police came to him and reopened this investigation. >> okay. >> that's what happened. >> i want to bring in criminal defense attorney mark geragos and cnn legal analyst sunny hostin, former federal prosecutor. some have said that waiving the preliminary hearing today was bad for the defense, bad for sandusky because the prosecution's witnesses avoided taking the stand, didn't have to take the stand and offering up
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contradictions in their testimony. do you agree with that? >> well, that's one of the reasons that if you're a defense lawyer you want to have a preliminary hearing. it's your opportunity prior to trial to lock somebody in, to do a cross-examination, to kind of set the stage for trial. ever since i heard it this morning, one of the -- only things that i can speculate as to why they waived it is you do at a preliminary hearing give the judge the opportunity to raise or lower the bail based on what he's heard. and maybe there was some thought or some calculation on their part that if we go through this preliminary hearing with all of the attention on this, if it looks or if a judge had a credible basis for saying, well, i think that there's more here than there was when i was faced with bail, i'm going to jump his bail or make it a tantamount to no bail, that could have factored into it. because i've done that on occasion myself where i waived the preliminary hearing because i didn't want to expose the client to being remanded into custody.
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>> when the attorney for sandusky, amendola, says we wouldn't have time to interview the witnesses, the alleged victims. >> the reason -- i don't know that i don't buy it, but the remedy for that generally, and i think it was a pretty good remedy that he had which was, okay, they've added all these count, they've got new victims coming forward, your honor we're not ready today, we want to waive the preliminary hearing so we can get ready. he went out there and said -- and i'm taking him at his word -- that they want to go right to trial. they don't want to waive time. they between go right to trial. remember conrad murray did the same thing. they didn't want to waive time. he set it straight for trial. sometimes that's a good idea, most of the times it's not. >> sunny, there are some who thought this is a sign that the defense was looking for some sort of a plea deal. >> that's what i thought. i mean it's extraordinary that this attorney would give up the opportunity to see the prosecutor's hand.
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i've tried so many cases, anderson, and i've never had a defense attorney waive the preliminary hearing because they want to be able to cross-examine these witnesses. they want to have the opportunity to see what they are facing. so the fact that they did this sort of at the very last minute tells me that they were afraid of what they were going to hear. they were not prepared to cross-examine these witnesses. and the fact that he said that he wouldn't be able to cross-examine their credibility is just complete nonsense. the minute those boys got on that witness stand, their credibility was immediately at issue and he would have had the opportunity to cross-examine them. >> howard, would your clients prefer to see sandusky take a plea deal, if it means not having to testify? >> this young man's not concerned about testifying. he welcomes the opportunity to testify and face his accuser. what he is looking for is justice, and what should happen here is jerry sandusky should be behind bars. the prosecution is going to make a determination as to how that should come about. >> michael, does your client have a position on the plea deal? >> he does. he's 18 years old.
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this is all swirling around him like something none of us can understand. i think what my client wants is to see justice served. if he can assist in that process and give testimony, he will be ready, prepared, and he will be very credible in doing so. if a plea deal is struck that puts mr. sandusky behind bars for a good, long time, i believe he'll be satisfied with that as well. >> i want to play another sound bite, sunny, from joe amendola, the attorney. >> if anyone is naive enough to think for a minute that tim curley, joe paterno and gary schultz and, for that matter graham spanier, the university president were told by mike mcqueary that he observed jerry sandusky having anal sex with a 10-year-old looking kid at a shower room in penn state on penn state property and their response was simply to tell jerry sandusky that, don't go in
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the shower any more with kids, i suggest you dial 1-800-reality because that makes absolutely no sense. >> it turns out the phone number he gave was actually a phone sex line of some sort, probably not the greatest line for him to be using at this point. but are you surprised of the degree to which sandusky and his attorney are speaking out? >> i really am. this attorney has had an unorthodox way of defending jerry sandusky from the very beginning. the approach is very nontraditional. he's allowed jerry sandusky to be interviewed and he's making these football analogies when he's speaking. i'm not surprised but it's really shocking that this is the tack they're taking. i'm also offended that he's put forth this defense of these boys getting together and colluding for money. i have never in my experience prosecuting child sex crimes had a victim come forward and make something up because they want money. >> mark, do you agree with what she said about the amount to which they're both speaking
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publicly? >> well, you know, the problem is this is what i call a supersize case. and i think a lot of the normal rules that you engage in as a defense lawyer may not apply. it's unorthodox. you don't see -- what were there 200 credentialed media sitting there, the thing is being covered wall-to-wall. and so sometimes this presumption of guilt in this case, which has come so quickly, you want to try to do something to stop the bleeding. at the same time, you know, until you've gone through one of these things, you don't understand what it's like to be in the middle of it if you're defending somebody who is the object of all of this hatred that's coming his way. so this may be something new to him. i feel his pain. >> mark geragos, sunny hostin, appreciate it. all the attorneys in this, thank you so much for being with us. we're going to look later at another case of alleged abuse by a coach at syracuse, two alleged victims are now suing the
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university and the head basketball coach jim boeheim for defamation of calling them lies are in defense of bernie fine. more fallout from operation fast and furious with attorney general eric holder. two different narratives coming out of congress.up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your stuffy nose. [ deep breath ] thank you! that's the cold truth! anything? no. ♪ how about now? nope. ♪ [ dog barking ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the chevy silverado. ♪ [ male announcer ] with best-in-class 4x4 available v8 fuel economy. finally! ♪ [ male announcer ] from getting there... to getting away from there. chevy runs deep.
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another keeping them honest report. attorney general eric holder is under growing pressure from republicans over the botched gun running operation known as fast and furious which was overseen by the justice department. today 22 house republicans introduced a no confidence motion against holder. dozens more are calling for his resignation. so let's start with the facts. for more than a year agents from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms, the atf and
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explosives allows thousands of illegal gun sales. the idea was the guns would end up in the hands of mexican cartel leaders who could then be traced and targeted. problem is the atf didn't keep track of most of the guns, which were later found near the body of a slain border patrol agent brian terry last december. his cousin testified at a hearing in june. >> he had already made his travel plans to fly back to michigan and spend the christmas holiday with his family. brian's attention to detail had ensured that all the christmas gifts he had meticulously selected for his family had already been bought and sent in the mail prior to his arrival. brian did ultimately come home that christmas. we buried him not far from the house that he was raised in just prior to christmas day. >> testimony from brian terry's cousin. now during these hearings, the attorney general holder has maintained he was not aware of the program until early this year. the justice department has launched its own investigation. some democrats are accusing now, though, republicans of a witch
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hunt. georgia representative hank johnson told the daily caller, quote, i think this was another manufactured controversy by the second amendment nra tea party movement. earlier i challenges congressman johnson on that statement congressman johnson in an interview you describe fast and furious as, quote, another manufactured controversy by the second amendment nra republican tea party movement. i'd like to ask you about that. it's a fact this operation took place. it's a fact that 1,40 guns can't be accounted for and the fact that the guns from this operation ended up at the crime scene where border patrol agent brian terry was killed. what's manufactured about this? >> it's manufactured into a scandal or into an alleged scandal when in fact the scandal, anderson, has to do with the lack of federal laws which contribute to the numbers of assault weapons that enter into the hands of mexican drug
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cartels and others and are used to kill people. >> but sir, aren't you then -- it sounds like you're just making a political position. yes, you oppose, you know, the nra, i assume, you oppose loopholes that allow guns to be sold through gun shows. but why not investigate who made the decision in this fast and furious program? we still don't know who actually signed off on this. >> well, i am interested and there is an ongoing investigation at the justice department, through its solicitor general is undertaking, ands have already been made and the investigation is not complete. i would allow it -- i would allow that investigation to run its course. >> but sir, it seems like you're saying, well, the justice department should be able to investigate itself when, in fact, if this was something else, i'm not sure you would leave it up to the people who have been accused of or questioned about the, you know, who approved it, whether someone in the justice department approved it.
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i mean, are they really able to investigate themself on this? >> well, congress certainly has oversight authority to investigate this. >> and that's what congress is doing, but you're saying the investigation is manufactured. you're saying this is much ado about nothing essentially. >> i'm saying that the means, the manner in which this investigation is being conducted by the house of representatives through the government oversight investigations committee is scandalous. >> well, i guess maybe i still don't quite see your point. this is a scandal in mexico. there are many people in mexico very upset about this because these guns have been used at we don't even know how many crime scenes. we do know a u.s. border agent is dead, and guns were found nearby. the attorney general himself has said that guns from this operation, this fast and furious operation, will likely end up being used to kill people for years. that's not a serious matter to you? >> yeah, it is. but so will the massive numbers
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of illegal weapons that fall into the hands of wrongdoers based on the gun show loop hole. >> so to the family of border agent brian terry, to the family of mexicans who have been killed at countless crime scenes with weapons that the federal government allowed to go across, you say what? >> i say i'm very sorry that this nation, which should be limiting the numbers of assault weapons possessed by wrongdoers, does not do its job and as a result 40,000-plus people are dead. >> congressman hank johnson, i appreciate your perspective, sir. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead tonight, disturbing new details about a new alleged hazing at florida a&m university. three band members are charged in the brutal beating of a female band member just weeks before drum major robert champion died. holiday thieves caught on camera. yeah, i'm married. does it matter?
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that heartbreaking statistic has triggered the district to reassess its so-called neutrality policy. neutrality bars teachers from discussing such things, and critics say answers the bullying of gay students with silence which bullies see as acceptance. earlier we did a special report on the problem "bullying, it stops here." i spoke with the superintendent, parents and four amazing students who are fighting back, including a brave kid named kyle who has had a lot to overcome. how do you get through the day, kyle? >> i prayed every day that i didn't have to go back to school. and i go -- >> you pray every day you don't have to go back to school. >> yeah, i hide under the seats of the bus. and -- >> you'd hide under the seats? >> i would. and then i'd go to the nurse three times a day at least. >> just to get some place safe. >> to go home. >> to go home. >> i understand at one point how many kids were bullying you? >> 40. >> 40 kids?
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>> yes. >> you could identify 40 kids? >> yeah. >> kyle was trying to survive in a climate where teachers couldn't even talk to kyle about whispers that bullies were shouting in his ears. last night the school board met to consider replacing neutral which with what they're calling a controversial topics curriculum policy and allow teachers to talk about sexualities as long as they don't advocate personal beliefs or opinions. we'll continue to follow it. the other stories we're following. susan hendricks is here. >> thank you. three florida a&m marching band members faced a judge today on charges of hazing a fellow band member. they're accused of beating freshman bria hunter, who suffered a broken thigh and blood clots and severe bruising that sent her to the emergency room last month. less twhoon weeks late, robert champion died in a suspected hazing incident on the band bus. no charges have been filed in his death.
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>> two men who accuse syracuse basketball coach bernie fine of sexual abuse are suing the university now and its head basketball coach john boeheim for defamation. fine has not been charged with any crimes and denies that he abused anyone. also following this, the national transportation safety board is calling for a nationwide ban on using cell phones and texting while driving. the ban would apply to hands-free as well as handheld electronic devices. >> remember elizabeth taylor wore that wig in the 1963 film "cleopatra." according to reuters it was sold to an anonymous bidder for over $20,000. the icon ig bob is made of human hair. if you steal your neighbor's decorations. a christmas crime wave worthy of the ridiculist. ♪
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time now for the ridiculist. tonight we're adding a prechristmas crime wave that caught our attention. starting with the alleged grinches that were caught trying to steal christmas. this house in sweetwater, florida, was all decked out with christmas cheer and $500 worth of lawn ornaments. when sudden they they were gone. vanishes. miami us in station wsvn got to exactly what was stolen. >> mickey mouse on a horse, hugging penguins, snoopy on a doghouse and santa on a sled. >> mickey on a horse, hugging penguins? but wait, all was not lost for
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the hugging penguins because it turns out there was security camera video of the crime taking place. look. not only that, the woman who owns the house calls police after she saw her decorations on another lawn in her own neighborhood. stealing your neighbor's holiday lawn ornaments, pretty bad. stealing your neighbor's holiday lawn ornaments, then putting them on your lawn half a block away, that takes christmas balls, that's all i have to say. thank you. two women were arrested on grand theft charges. two women. most people know it is wrong to steel christmas decorations, but what about hunting for them? i mean that literally because a man in georgia was arrested after firing a gun near a shopping mall. >> william robinson was firing into the trees in an attempt to get mistletoe out to decorate his home for christmas. >> that was from a news station wxia. before you start feeling all superior because you never had to shoot your own christmas
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decorations, listen to what one of the news station's own cameramen had to say about mistletoe. >> well, i've gathered it before. >> how did you gather it? >> the traditional southern way. >> which is? >> with a gun. >> so i yeah, it's a thing in the south people shoot mistletoe out of the trees with a gun. who knew? at least not us new yorkers. he fired his .12 gauge shotgun into the tree and he got arrested and spent the night in jail. he seems like a really nice person, quite considerate. here's what he told wgcl about his quest for mistletoe. >> there's some in my neighbor's tree. i know him. i could have gotten it. he wasn't home. i didn't want to go shooting in his home when he's not home. >> that's good. that's neighborly. not shooting in someone's yard when they were home. if they were home, much easier. after spending a night in jail, he learned his lesson. >> i guess i assumed that everybody knew what i was doing. there was nobody around except one car driving th

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